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Disunity: A Warning from Ohio 
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Ever since I first entered the reptile industry as a child, Ohio has been a stronghold for herpetoculture. The collections were very diverse, and there have always been many talented keepers there. Over the years, I have visited with some of the people in that state, and have always come away quite impressed by the variety – a variety that rivaled my then home state of Florida.

Throughout the years, as with every state, activists have tried time and again to get their foot in the door and shut down the exotic industry in Ohio, but have continuously failed – until now! So, what happened? How could one of the most open states become a state that is more restrictive than my present home state of California? The new initiative, SB 310, can be used to eliminate the keeping of all exotics very quickly. The Department of Agriculture can, without any further hearings, public comments, or legal involvements can restrict or ban whatever animal they choose! As written, it bans all crocodilians, and the draconian language of the venomous section is basically a thinly veiled, slow elimination. Of course, constrictors over twelve feet are targeted as well – you can have them, but you will pay dearly for it!

The tragedy in Zanesville was to be the catalyst for change. In many cases, in various places, there is a big cat accident, followed by calls to abolish the keeping of all exotics – and this was to be no exception! Wayne Pacelle and his followers, already deeply involved in the python hysteria, were now going to push their agenda in Ohio with a vengeance. Add to this a new governor with a strong desire to rid the state of its exotics, partnered with Jack Hanna of the Columbus zoo, and you have an epic battle to fight. This was an important battleground for them – a state that had little regulation of any kind, and a congress that had no real interest in pursuing any – to gain this state is to set precedence for others. Could we have won? That is a question that is hard to answer, but I assure you, the strategy that they used beat our self-destructive rhetoric hands down!

While PETA, HSUS, the new governor, and other groups came forth with a united front, we had no less than five different groups, all saying something different, trying to fight the impending laws. One group’s leader, always claiming that there would never be a law as long as he was there (oops!), even went so far as to call the legislators “idiots”! Imagine how much favor that won for us! PJAC tried to negotiate a deal, Ohio Association of Animal Owners had yet another version, and USARK (who was the one originally invited to come and speak to the senators) tried to get a law similar to that of North Carolina (and no, despite those who push rumors, it is not restrictive, it merely asks that you be responsible – like drinking and driving!)
Worse than the disharmony of messages was that some of the group’s leaders were actually making disparaging remarks about the other groups! Who would you listen to? How do you think we were received? How is it that in the reptile industry we think that we can act like this and win?

This won’t be the last battle. HSUS alone has 261 million in assets, PETA has an annual income of $32 million, and the other groups have deep pockets as well. The “warning from Ohio” is this: We have a lot of battles ahead, but if we continue to act as we did in Ohio, we will even lose states we never thought we could! We will learn to stand together, or lose it all. The choice is quite simple – grow up, or be treated like a child by being told what you can and cannot do!

source: http://www.herpnation.com/hn-blog/carl- ... arl-person

People hate what they don't understand.
Politicians want to meet some sort of quota, what better way to do it than by banned something people in general tend to fear?
It's ridiculous to you and I, but to the general public it seems like a good idea to ban something we are spoon fed to think is scary and dangerous. It is far from an excuse, though, we live in an age where we have all of this knowledge to gain at our finger tips, yet some choose to ignore it. It doesn't just have to be about herps, or sharks, but with racism, sexism and a mountain of false stereotypes.
It's sad, but my future in exotics doesn't seem bright living here in the states.

--

What is your opinion(s) and/or questions on exotic keeping, do you think the few deaths that have happened as a result of large snakes justify a ban?

Did you know: Over 40 people have died by vending machines in the last 30 years

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Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:02 pm
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given the way it referred to "exotics," i thought that the article was going to argue against keeping the animals, because of poaching/trafficking/what have you.

i am rather confused--what, exactly, is the wording of the law? i doubt it's all reptiles, or even intended for most of them. to be totally honest, i feel like, given reptiles' inability to develop bonds to the same extent as mammals--that is, they are much more "wild" than domesticated animals and pets--and the danger inherent in venomous snakes and large reptiles (and also the unfortunately common habit people have of releasing their pets into the wild if they grow too large or dangerous), this isn't quite as bad as it's being made out to be. lawmakers are not herpetology experts, as you said; they have more important things on their plate than outlawing geckos and corn snakes.

you wouldn't happen to have a source that's not as...involved, would you?

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Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:59 pm
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SHPN wrote:
given the way it referred to "exotics," i thought that the article was going to argue against keeping the animals, because of poaching/trafficking/what have you.

i am rather confused--what, exactly, is the wording of the law? i doubt it's all reptiles, or even intended for most of them. to be totally honest, i feel like, given reptiles' inability to develop bonds to the same extent as mammals--that is, they are much more "wild" than domesticated animals and pets--and the danger inherent in venomous snakes and large reptiles (and also the unfortunately common habit people have of releasing their pets into the wild if they grow too large or dangerous), this isn't quite as bad as it's being made out to be. lawmakers are not herpetology experts, as you said; they have more important things on their plate than outlawing geckos and corn snakes.

you wouldn't happen to have a source that's not as...involved, would you?


I've looked, but can't find anything. It's pretty much politicians trying to expand the python ban that happened earlier this year.
One of the main problems is that the only people who really care are the people who are involved with the reptile industry, so the people who are writing articles and trying to make their voices heard are the ones that are involved because their livelihoods are at stake.

They only banned 4 species (Burmese Python, Northern and Southern African Rock Python, and the Yellow Anaconda) for interstate travel, but originally planned to ban 9. The reason they lowered it to 4 is because a loophole exists where if it's under a certain amount of economic impact, they don't have to have a congressional vote for it.
They plan on doing the other 5 the same way.

I think Burmese Pythons and African Rock Pythons should be banned in Florida, but Florida only.
There is no reason to ban them anywhere else, I live in Northern Florida, and they wouldn't even survive the winter here.

They're not banned as pets across the US, but they're not allowed to leave state lines, which meaning putting several thousand private business owners out of work because they can't get their hatchlings to reptile shows across the US. They've left people with hundreds of baby pythons and no way to sell them, and without the income, they can't feed them or their adult snakes.

It also impacts residents as well, because let's say I live in New York and I owned a Yellow Anaconda and I was moving to New Jersey, I wouldn't be able to take my snake with me without committing a felony.

Doesn't that seem like more of a reason to release a snake where it doesn't belong?

These snakes aren't as dangerous as people say, they don't even get as big in captivity as they do in the wild because if you control the food you control the size.

People don't realize that the HSUS (the ones who run those sad shelter commercials with Sarah Mclachlan) and PETA are against ALL pet ownership, and they're putting their foot in the door with exotics and want to eventually work it's way to your cats and dogs.

They pressure politicians to pass laws just to get them off of their backs, and it's sad that the general public doesn't know about it.
They watch bogus shows like Man Eaters: _____ and Swamp Wars which has been exposed to show that they plant animals in their shows.
"It's from Animal Planet, it must be true!"

I breed Ball Pythons, which are relatively small snakes, but they will be attacked sooner or later.
And I hate to admit it, but these smaller species are more destructive to the environment than the larger ones, it's just that people fear the bigger ones because they're.. bigger.

Here's a video I found on the subject.

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0g6VgzCCbA[/video]

and a parody made to help spread some light on the HSUS (you know, the one that makes you want to cry they play on TV)

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTrhQd9GHlE[/video]

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Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:57 pm
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I realy would wish that the people making these laws would be more educated on what they are trying to ban. I think a ban should be the last option. (I flippin dislike PETA). I disagree with people being able to own large exotic predators like tigers because it is very difficult to care for a mature adult tiger,not to mention they are very hard or impossible to control if something go's wrong. I think snakes are only a problem if they are not taken care of properly. The snakes I have seen on the news that eat people have grown to an unmanageable size for the owner. I do not think the few deaths that have happened as a result of large snakes are good reason to ban ownership of them altogether. I think education is a problem, a lot of people get these snakes that can get realy big and they just do not know how to take care of them. Like in one incidence the snake grew to big for its container and escaped. I think larger snakes are more dangerous, but not as much as a lot of people think. To me its about the owner being able to manage, take care of, and control the snake.

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Wed May 15, 2013 3:31 pm
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